Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The other night, while I was giving Lily a bath, watching her play a game of herding all the bath toys to one end of the tub and then the other, I remarked to myself on how she is becoming such a kid.  It's the subtle things - the way she relates to her toys, her facial expressions, the way she moves her little hands - that show me how each day she is leaving behind babyhood and becoming a kid.  Watching her play in the water, I thought about some pictures that I took of Julia in our neighborhood wading pool, and realized that she was just about the same age that Lily is now.  It was such a gift to be able to throw Julia in the stroller on a warm day and go hang out in the sun and splash around.  When Julia was diagnosed in the summer of 2005, I realized with a sadness that we would have to forgo our trips to the pool while she was in treatment.  Now, when I walk or drive past the snow covered pool, I get tinges of excitement thinking about how much fun Lily will have this summer.

Julia, at 16 months, splashing in the wading pool.

When I went to find the pictures of Julia at the pool, I became lost looking at all the pictures of her at 16-ish months (and was blown away by how similar my two girls sometimes look!).  This is the age when I watched Julia become a kid - playing in the pool, helping Dad water the garden, showing me her blossoming personality in all the wonderful and crazy things she'd do throughout the day.  And I feel overwhelmed with gratitude (as well as disbelief) that I am fortunate enough to watch a second little girl embark on this journey into kidhood.

I tried Julia's old snowpants on Lily one day 
to see if they'd fit, and now she wants to wear 
them around the house - all day, every day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Counting Moments

There is a quote that I came upon years ago by poet Rabindranath Tagore:

The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

This quote took on new meaning for me after Julia's death.  I was putting together a scrapbook of pictures of Julia, and I realized that these words were the perfect introduction.  I had chosen not to arrange the photos chronologically, but simply as a collection of moments.  Julia's life was very short compared to most, and certainly compared to our hopes and expectations.  But Bert and I have both taken comfort in realizing that there is no set amount of time for any life.  Many are long, many are short, and it's helpful to see each one as complete in it's own way.  Lots of our memories of Julia are sad and difficult to think about.  But there are so many beautiful, wonderful memories, and when I even begin to add up all these moments it's hard to feel like I haven't already been given all the happiness in the world.  

Julia and her Dad by the river at the university, 
one of their favorite places to go.